I CAN EXPLAIN

Everything has an explanation. I do not even know of any exceptions. Some explanations are not known, understood, or agreed upon. However, that does not mean that the explanation does not exist. An “excuse” is when there is actually an authentic explanation beneath the surface that has not yet been revealed for whatever reason, be it: shame, ignorance, lack of interest, denial, etc. An authentic explanation can be one of our most critical tools in understanding ourselves, others, and the world around us. If only we better understood its value and how to access it.

The world we live in has an infinite number of moving parts. Some are astronomical, some are microscopic, but none are truly random. When we say random/lucky/miraculous, it’s when we don’t explore enough explanation. Understanding explanation can be the bond between people that reduces detachment, resentment, disagreements, enemies. Imagine if every questionable action that affected an individual was attached with the true reason as to why the action was executed. This probably seems like a far fetched fantasy on a global scale, but it can be a reality when zoomed into a more manageable focus group, such as two people.

I always try to explain things to my wife; things that she might not understand about me. I am not always successful for various reasons. Usually it has to do with a lack of energy or time in either one or both of us. When we have the energy, it’s hard to find the time. Work gets in the way, kids get in the way, chores get in the way, our domesticated schedules get in the way. I find it difficult to open up to her when there’s a chance of us getting interrupted by household members/issues. When we find the time, fatigue becomes a factor. We have built a life together and now that life is replacing the one we used to know.

When we first met and were getting to know each other, our schedules used to revolve around making ourselves available. We looked and felt like our best selves whenever we hung out. Our interactions with each other were the highlight of our days. One of us contacting the other would feel like a dopamine hit for both of us. It was exciting in every way. It was like a drug, and we liked it.

As time passed, the same types of interaction would not result in the same dopamine hit. As a remedy, we would either increase the dosage amount or try a different “drug”. Holding hands became kissing, date nights became weekend getaways, living together became starting a family. As parents, our daughters became an abundant source of much of our dopamine. Conversely, they have also been a source of many of our normal parental growing pains.

A dehydrated person wants more water. A flood victim wants less water. A person with a glass of tap water wants bottled water, and a person with bottled water wants something else to drink. The “wants” can be explained by the situation. Note that wanting something more does not necessarily mean being ungrateful for current conditions. There is usually some degree of appreciation for the gifts of today while simultaneously striving for a greater tomorrow.

This is to say that, while my wife allows me the freedom to say what’s on my mind, there are certain topics that she subconsciously shuts down. I can sense when she does not like where the conversation is going and I think it is due to a lack of explanation for her, which leads to a lack of understanding about me. Conversely, when I cannot grab hold of an explanation of her disinterest, the resistance is compounded.

When I was rejected at my 1st few attempts of kissing my wife, I remember telling her, “I’ll never force you to do anything you don’t want to, but I can’t say that I’ll stop trying”. I would like to think I don’t force her into talks that she does not want to have, but I also can’t say that I’ll stop trying. I wish she had the peace of mind to know that my explanation has always been to strengthen the bond between us. It has never been the contrary, nor will it ever be.

Husband. Father. Other stuff.